AbstractThis article, based on two books (Barr and Diamond 2008, forthcoming), sets out a series of principles for pension design rooted in economic theory: pension systems have multiple objectives, analysis should consider the pension system as a whole, analysis should be framed in a second-best context, different systems share risks differently, and systems have different effects by generation and by gender. That discussion is reinforced by identification of a series of widespread analytical errors: tunnel vision, improper use of first-best analysis, improper use of steady-state analysis, incomplete analysis of implicit pension debt, incomplete analysis of the impact of funding (including excessive focus on financial flows, failure to consider how funding is generated, and improper focus on the type of asset in trust funds), and ignoring distributional effects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2008-26.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
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- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
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